Can you use a conical fermenter that is not airtight?

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Brewhaa

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I have an older MiniBrew 7gal conical fermenter that I just resurrected. The top is just a rubber cap that stretches over the opening. Its tight but not airtight. Ive ran at least 10 brews through this unit with about 70% success. I've always thought that this can be a weak point for contaminants, but I shrugged it off as me just being too cautious. Would this concern anyone else?

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Nate R

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When you say 70% success, what happened to the 30% "fails"? I.e.- taste, stuck ferm, etc.
How about cleaning and sanitizing? From my view, that lid looks a little supsect.
Do you use an airlock, blow-off tube, or neither?

A person can use any clean sanitized vessel to ferment, as long as it clean. Some yeasts can be open-top fermented.
So... that leads me to questions i asked above. I think it might be more process than equipment.
My $0.02
 
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Brewhaa

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When you say 70% success, what happened to the 30% "fails"? I.e.- taste, stuck ferm, etc.
How about cleaning and sanitizing? From my view, that lid looks a little supsect.
Do you use an airlock, blow-off tube, or neither?

A person can use any clean sanitized vessel to ferment, as long as it clean. Some yeasts can be open-top fermented.
So... that leads me to questions i asked above. I think it might be more process than equipment.
My $0.02
Its more 30% fails, in my eyes. Somewhat drinkable, but not what I liked and would not serve to friends. Cleanliness is next to godliness. Everything I do is properly cleaned/sanitized. I just question this because all conical fermenters I see are sealed. Some are even pressurized. The upgraded model to mine has a sealing lid.
 

Nate R

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I see.
I wonder... have you tried a batch that did taste good over at least once more time?
I mean to say- is there a chance the 30% failed batches are due the brewing (hot) side, and not the result of the conical?

As long as the conical is cleaned and sanitized, and is covered properly, it should be fine
 

RealRayDizzle

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have you tried a batch that did taste good over at least once more time?
Sounds like this may be closer to the root.
When I make over 10 gal batches I ferment in a kettle made from a keg. (Keggel) with a stainless steel lid. It is not air tight, but I sanitize everything well and haven't had a problem.
On a side note, duct tape? Could probably force that lid to be airtight as a test.
 
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Brewhaa

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I see.
I wonder... have you tried a batch that did taste good over at least once more time?
I mean to say- is there a chance the 30% failed batches are due the brewing (hot) side, and not the result of the conical?

As long as the conical is cleaned and sanitized, and is covered properly, it should be fine
I have on open ear for tips on the boil. I boil the full 5 gal in my 6 gal pot. I boil on the gas stove top and can get a nice rolling boil going with this set up.
Sounds like this may be closer to the root.
When I make over 10 gal batches I ferment in a kettle made from a keg. (Keggel) with a stainless steel lid. It is not air tight, but I sanitize everything well and haven't had a problem.
On a side note, duct tape? Could probably force that lid to be airtight as a test.
In the past, I've wrapped the seal with electrical tape. It's pretty damn close to air tight. And yes, everything is super clean. I take the back flow piece off the cylinder air lock to vent when I dump the trub. I'm wondering if that bit of air that comes back in, could cause any issues.
 
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